African Retro Rugs
African Retro Rugs Inspire Fresh Contemporary Designs
Contemporary designers often look to the past and to traditional cultures for inspiration. Geometry and highly mathematical designs are a traditional part of African textile design. It is not surprising that the beautiful designs of these traditional weavers have found its way into contemporary design styles. Let’s explore this unique collection that comes to us from the traditional people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kuba Cloth Inspires our Collection
Many designers are finding that the textiles of these traditional cultures are the perfect addition to modern designs. Kuba textiles are often the collective effort of the women of the village. The designs are often abstract, geometric, and executed with stunning accuracy. They are created without modern tools, using only the traditional techniques that have been handed down for centuries.
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The patterns used in Kuba cloth represent a language or visual representation of the world around them. The designs often represent the tribal scarification patterns used to identify tribal members and crop patterns. Some of the designs represent divine intervention and man’s connection to the sublime.
Many of the traditional patterns have lost their original meaning, but they are still handed down in the traditional way from generation to generation. The patterns can be repetitive and carefully planned, or they can have a spontaneous quality that reflects the artistic choices of the weaver. Regardless of their meaning and origins, they are beautiful, and many feel drawn to their ancient rhythms and symbols.
Bringing Kuba Cloth into Modern Design of African Retro Rugs
There are five different types of traditional Kuba cloth. Some are made from plants such as raffia and the inner heartwood of certain trees. There are also ceremonial fabrics and those that are intended only for kings and rulers. The patterns of these traditional textiles served as the inspiration for mid-20th century designers who wanted to incorporate a few tribal qualities into their interior designs.
The geometric nature of the designs fit perfectly into the tastes of mid century modern designers. To the European and American eyes, these pieces had an abstract quality that was also in alignment with the geometric abstract paintings that were also popular at the time. They fit perfectly into a world of design that included the works of artists such as Piet Mondrian and the neoplasticism of Theo van Doesburg.
Designs inspired by Kuba cloth were the perfect accompaniment to Eames Era furniture and Danish Modern. They accentuated the simple lines of the design but also had an organic, primitive quality. Kuba art would eventually become an international phenomenon in the art world.
African Retro Rugs Inspiring Contemporary Designs
As Eames Era and Danish Modern gave way to more contemporary styles such as Minimalist, Swedish modern, and Boho chic, the appeal of primitive designs remained. More recently, designers are turning to retro pieces for inspiration and adding a bit of interest to otherwise modern décor. The geometric qualities of these pieces make them versatile in a modern design. Here are a few ideas for using them in your space.
Go Tribal. Kuba patterns are perfect for Boho layers and to update ultra-modern designs with rigid lines and angles. The earthy colors are perfect for neutral palettes and create a calming space. The geometric patterns add motion and direction, many having an appearance of some of more “schooled” pieces that were produced by abstract designers of the mid-20th century.
Create Motion. The African Retro rugs are eye-catching, and they have motion that is created by line and contrast. Your eye cannot help but begin following the paths and labyrinths within the designs. They have geometric precision, but they also have an organic quality that seems to evolve in a natural way that mimics an organic space. Once you experience one of these pieces, you cannot help but be captivated by them and the fascinating people who originated these designs.
Connect to the Past. We are proud to off a selection of unique African Retro rugs. They have an earthy character and would make the perfect addition to a room that needs a touch of nature. Their geometric nature gives them a modern, abstract look that would be difficult to distinguish from modern creations. Even though they have a modern look, there is something about them that connects them to the past, something primitive and organic.
Mid Century Modern Styles. When mid century modern design began to emerge, the focus of the design was on the furniture and the accessories, and carpets were an afterthought. The gorgeous designs of the Kuba designs were considered a bit eccentric for floor coverings. They became popular around art circles and the world of high fashion.
Contemporary and Ultra-Modern. Now, modern designers take a different approach to floor coverings. They begin with the perfect piece to set the tone of the room. They add furniture and accessories that are based on the rug design. The rug is the focal point of the room, and it ties the room together.
Bold Layers. For a contemporary updated look, you might try layering the patterns of the geometrics with other rugs and floor coverings. They add an interesting change in line and direction. The colors of Kuba rugs work perfectly in a neutral room to add interest.
The real beauty of an African Retro rug is that the designs are inspired by centuries of traditions in a tribal culture. The designs are surprisingly modern, and in many cases, no one will even guess that it is a tribal rug unless you tell them.
African Retro rugs are a treasure and an excellent way to add an organic feel to modern design. Please feel free to enjoy our collection. You just might find the piece to serve as the inspiration for your contemporary room.
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